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rachelthetometraveller

Rachel

Yes, hello I'm Rachel. I read YA and spend my days in a state of perpetual tiredness. Tralalala  

Reading progress update: I've read 75%.

Pointe - Brandy Colbert

Oh this book is making me feel sad feelings, you guys. I feel so so so bad for Theo. This fucking Chris guy is the scum of the Earth and I haaaate him.

 

I'm mad that Hosea wants to be with Theo but doesn't want to be with her enough to dump his girlfriend. Sure, maybe it's a little more complicated than that, but at the same time, it's really not.

 

I LOVED that sex scene tho. It was painfully sweet and I wanted to cry too.

My Reread Challenge 2015: Book List

Doing a reread challenge this year and I'm aiming for 10-12 books.

 

Just updated my list:

 

 

The Cardturner by Lois Sachar

Island Of The Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Cracked Up To Be and This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

Saving June and Speechless by Hannah Harrington

The Lumatere Chronicles (Finnikin Of The Rock, Froi Of The Exiles and Quintana Of Charyn) by Melina Marchetta.

When Writing A Sex Scene Fails Epically

 

 

Absolutely LOST my SHIT. Have not stopped laughing ALL day.

This is me guest-starring in my co-blogger Annette's latest video. We book-talked Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley and it was fun, despite the fact I thought it was going to be a disaster. I'm really glad she convinced me to give it a go. 

 

(Why do I always have go so red in the face though? It's fucking annoying).

Personal: Recent Feelings/Ideas/Confusion

So I've been toying with the idea of doing an editing course for over a year now and have worked up the courage to make some inquiries about an online course that seems like maybe a step in the right direction.

 

Main concerns: I'm worried it'll be like my high school days, where I did fuck all homework and work in general, really. I'm worried I won't have enough support, cos it's an online course. I'm worried I'll fail at it. But most of all, I'm worried I'll hate it - cos then what? This is really the only idea I've had in 6+ years of trying to figure out a career path.

 

You see, I've never had any idea what I wanted to do with my life, and when I was younger, I was always super jealous of people who did. Sure, I had passing fancies, but nothing that I felt truly serious about. That just felt right, you know? It stressed me out big time. And I know now it doesn't matter if you don't have it all figured out by the time you turn 18 (or even by the time you turn 40) but back then, I wanted to. I liked the idea of having a plan. So when high school finished, I convinced myself I wanted to be a massage therapist, completely ignoring the fact that the notion of touching strangers for a living freaked me the fuck out. By the time I found out that I got accepted into a few different courses, I had changed my mind. But rather than outright decline them, (I didn't want to fully acknowledge that I had changed my mind) I instead deferred them and decided to do a gap year and work at my shitty supermarket job. I hadn't decided to travel at that point. All I knew at the time was that I didn't want to be studying and I wasn't going to want to anytime soon. I eventually decided on Europe towards the end of my 'gap year' and then spent the next two years saving for it, falling into a reception job along the way as a means to a) work at Coles less and b) save more money.

 

Fast forward time and it's now the end of my 6th year out of high school. I haven't studied anything in the past 6 years but now I'm turning to this idea not only cos I'm finally starting to feel ready but because if I continue to work in reception for much longer, I'll probably kill myself.

 

A lot of the time, it all swirls around in my head, a big jumble of confusion and conflict. Warring with myself cos I know that I'll never get anywhere if I don't TRY. I KNOW that. It's just so hard for me to make the leap. The fact that I did that 2 day intro course on creative writing back in Sept was pretty much a miracle. You would think it may have helped me in that regard, and I think it has a little, but my self-doubt is lodged pretty deep and I guess it's going to take more self-coaxing to get there. I will say though, that I am feeling cautiously optimistic for next year's possibilities in a way I never have previously so that's something, at least... Right?

 

Anyhoo. What actually inspired this post is that fact that lately, I've felt like I want to try to write something. I've felt this way since I did the creative writing short course, but these past 2 weeks especially, I've been wanting to give it go. Why, you ask? WELL. Sunday/Monday last week, I was listening to You Shook Me All Night Long by ACDC in my car and while I was thinking about the various implications of the song, this scene jumped into my head. Two teenagers having sex for the first time with it playing in the background. That's it. I don't have any character names or storyline or anything like that, only a few ideas and lines that have been bouncing around in my head.

 

I love it when authors talk about their characters living inside their heads and having conversations with them. I find it all absolutely fascinating. So to experience something like that was pretty thrilling for me.

 

But - and I know I'm getting waaaaay ahead of myself here - I don't know how writing a book would go for me. I sometimes struggle like you wouldn't believe with writing reviews, hence why I haven't written many. And blog posts. And even this post. This post was so frustrating cos I had so much to say and I couldn't figure out what should go where in terms of structuring it coherently. Even composing tweets can stress me out. I edit myself constantly. I kinda feel like an attempt to write a book would probably kill me. BUT SHUT UP RACHEL, YOU REALLY ARE GETTING WAY TOO AHEAD OF YOURSELF. JESUS.

 

Anyway, I was pretty excited for a few days after it happened, and then self doubt, my best friend, started creeping in. What if it sucks, what if you can't get anything out beyond that one scene, etc. I've been fighting it off though cos while I've never written anything before, I also know (like with most things) that the only way you can possibly get any good at it is to PRACTICE. Just WRITE. Sit my ass down and start scribbling/typing. I'm on holidays for two weeks at the end of this week and sometime during that period, I'm determined to attempt putting pen to paper (or fingers to laptop keys) and see how I go. Even if nothing happens, at least I will have fucking tried, you know? Maybe even before then, actually. I'm worried everything will go flying right out of my head soon if I don't. 

 

New Years resolutions are pretty much a joke for me cos I never EVER stick to them, but for 2015, my goal is to stop being so damn afraid of putting myself out there/stepping out of my comfort zone/trying new things. It really is my biggest challenge in life. 

Perfectly Good White Boy by Carrie Mesrobian

Perfectly Good White Boy - Carrie Mesrobian

Ahhhhhhhhh. Much as I hate saying stupid phrases like this, Carrie Mesrobian's writing is like a breath of fresh ass. I love that she doesn't shy away from writing sex. Cos PGWB has it, and lots of it.

 

I don't why some readers get their PANTIES all in a twist about sex in YA. Hello, this is TEENAGERS we're talking about. Especially teenage boys. I'm generalising a little here, but if they're not doing it, they're either thinking about it, talking about it or watching porn. Therefore, it makes sense to make it a part of their story, surely?

 

I also like that she doesn't make her books all about the boy getting with the girl in the end and living happily ever after. I've somewhat come to expect that with the books that I read these days, you know? So different is good. 

 

BookLikes, I like you. I like that you allow me to post my thoughts without making it a review. I'm not really good at reviews. I really just want to babble on like this, be more conversational, you know?

 

Anyhoo. Read this book, everyone. It's a coming of age story, I feel - told in a funny, different and awesomely REFRESHING way.

In The Path Of Falling Objects by Andrew Smith

In the Path of Falling Objects - Andrew  Smith, Mike Chamberlain

So. First Andrew Smith book done and dusted.

 

I think I would've enjoyed it even more if not for this narrator. He was annoying. But I was still feeling the tension and getting all nervous over what was going to happen next so I guess it didn't matter too much in the end. 

 

It was sad. I didn't see any of it coming, really. All I knew was that Mitch was scary pants and every one needed to get the fuck away from him. I should read more thriller-ish YA, huh? But even with that aspect, this story was ultimately about two brothers, Jonah and Simon, and their journey together.

 

I'm feeling slash (ha, slash) points from now cos TWD mid season finale has destroyed my brain:

 

- Yes, I now see what the Andrew Smith fuss is about.

- I'm happy with my goal of reading more male MC's this year and hoping to continue even more next year too, so it's a good thing I have Winger, Grasshopper Jungle and I think Stick? in e-book form. Can't wait to sink my eyes into them. Just need to buy a new Kindle. Fuck, I'm still so pissed off that my old one broke for no damn reason.

 

Melina Marchetta AKA Queen of the Quotes

“I can't believe I said it out loud. The truth doesn't set you free, you know. It makes you feel awkward and embarrassed and defenseless and red in the face and horrified and petrified and vulnerable. But free? I don't feel free. I feel like shit."

 

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

 

I relate to this quote so fucking much. It's why I find it hard to talk to even close friends about stuff that's bothering me. If I do, I feel absolutely everything listed in this quote. Gah.

How I unexpectedly came to love my Kindle

 

Gather round people, let me tell you a story....

 

So when e-readers were first introduced, I completely refused to even entertain the idea of ever owning one. Reading from anything other than an actual book was ludicrous to me, I despised the entire idea and couldn't comprehend why anyone would want one.

 

Then I decided to go travelling in 2011. I had $20000 saved, was booked to leave in July and had no set date to come back. I was off to Europe - travelling around by myself, taking with me a gigantic blue backpack that had no room for books. For the first time ever, I was facing the possibility of not having access to books for an indeterminate period of time, which, having spent most of my life up until that point with my nose in a book, was pretty panic inducing. Forget the fact I was going to Europe, I still needed books with me. So left with no other choice, I begrudgingly accepted the Mother's offer to buy me a Kindle as part of my 21st birthday present. About a week later, I was off on my solo adventure.

 

I could now branch off and go on to tell you about how difficult I found solo travelling, but it's all a bit sad and pathetic really and only highlights how desperately I need to start putting myself out there more, get out of my comfort zone, whatever blah blah blah.... But that's not really the point of this post so I won't (I'll just mention it like this instead. It's easier anyways).

 

I decided to do what's called a Busabout tour. Essentially, you travel by buses to set cities in European countries. There's a designated hostel they'll drop you at, you can either stay there or at a different one and you can choose how long you wanted to stay. It sounded so much better than some dumbarse Contiki or Topdeck tour, so it was a no-brainer.

 

I initially flew into London and that's a long arse flight. 24 motherfucking hours. Naturally, I read a lot on the plane. There was a lot of bus travel involved with the Busabout (duh) so I read on those journeys. I'm no party animal and incredibly socially awkward anyway so when other people in my hostel room were going out at night, I was reading in bed or somewhere else in the hostel. When I went wandering, I'd often find some place to sit after a while and read for a bit. And when I couldn't be fucked going to look at some other centuries old church, or boring as all hell museum, I'd find somewhere quiet and read. I ate lunch and dinner alone a lot of the time, but it was ok, cos I had my Kindle for company. I'm sure this sounds incredibly loser-esque but basically, my point is: that Kindle saved my damn life. I could not have done any reading at all without it.

 

Anyway. The picture above is my Kindle, obviously. It just suddenly carked it about a month ago, screen now frozen forever on a quarter image of John Steinbeck's head and right ear. After my initial confusion and anger at it dying for no bloody reason, I was quite upset and sad. And so, I just thought I would quite like to share the story of exactly why.

"If you can’t get a boy, get a book."
 
 
A Straight Line To My Heart by Bill Condon

 

Story of my life, yes?

The Understatement Of The Year by Sarina Bowen

The Understatement of the Year - Sarina Bowen

This is one of the first M/M romances I've read. I'm pretty ashamed of that fact. But I am making a conscious effort to be more diverse with my reading choices. And I'm also slowly trying to give NA more of a go. Unfortunately, sometimes I can be judgey and after I read a NA that I really disliked, I kinda just decided to hate on the entire genre for a while there. But anyway. On to my thoughts.

 

I really, really liked this. It was sweet, it was sad, it was romantic and I loved Graham and Rikker. I thought Sarina Bowen really captured how difficult struggling with your sexuality can be. Poor Graham - even though he frustrated me at times, I really felt for him. He'd denied who he was to himself for so long and having Rikker back in his life brought all that back up to the surface and he couldn't escape it.

 

It makes me so sad that there are people out there scared of who they are because of homophobic arseholes. They're really nothing but frustrating, narrow-minded fuckwits. It shouldn't matter who you're attracted to. Why does 'coming out' even have to be a thing? It shouldn't be. Ugh.

 

There was a lot of sex... YAY, sex! I really liked it when Graham snapped and jumped Rikker. It was the start of him being unable to deny his feelings anymore and I was all 'AAWWW' like the big old softie that I am, deep deep down, under all the cynicism.

 

Probably my fave of the Ivy Years trilogy, I'd say. Quite a few quotes I like too, like this one right here.

 

"Until now, I’d failed Rikker at every opportunity. But not today. His grandmother had said that her years with him were a joy. She was practically bursting with pride for him. I could do that, too. I could stand here, claiming him as someone who mattered to me. It was really the least I could do.''

 

Anyway. If you're reading this, you should now go read this book, okay? Well, if you're into romance, that is. I guess. Look, just read it anyway.

 

Not Book Related. At. All.

Yes, hello. My name is Rachel and I like to help people realise that they too, have a deep, uh, appreciation? for the Reedus. Heeeeeeeeh.

 

 

 

The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

The Year We Fell Down  - Sarina Bowen

Huzzah. Despite a few eye-rolls here and there, a NA that I overall liked!

 

Female protag was in a wheelchair so props to Sarina for writing about her struggle to adjust to it in a realistic way.

 

Annnnnnnd hands up for fun sexy times. 

Fault Line by Christa Desir

Fault Line - Christa Desir

5/10/14: Holy shitballs. Talk about a heart breaking sucker-punch of a book. Everyone needs to read this. Review to come.

 

2/11/14:
My review, originally posted here: www.thetometravellers.wordpress.com

 

I’m not quite sure where to start with Fault Line. First of all, this book is about rape and I want to say I’m a little nervous to be writing this review cos I don’t want to come across as being uneducated about rape (I feel like I am though, to be honest). I think everyone should read this book. Everyone. It is about how rape affects the victim – the shame they feel, the blame that gets incorrectly placed on them – and how they change because of it. It is also about how rape affects not only the victim but those closest to them.

 

I read it on my Kindle in the space of 6 hours. I started around 11pm and finished about 5am. I gotta say, it’s been a fair while since I binge read a book to that time of the morning, but I just could not stop reading.

 

For me, it was hard to put down because of the way the story unfolds. It’s told from Ben’s POV. It is his girlfriend Ani who gets raped. The first paragraph is a scene set a few months after the rape and then it goes back 6 months earlier and whole story is told from there. So after reading that first paragraph, you know right from the start that Ani and Ben aren’t going to end up in a good place. And it’s so sad because of how their story starts out. They meet, they fall in like, they start dating and they fall in love. And then Ani gets raped. I was reading it and dreading the moment when it was all going to change, but at the same time, I just had to keep reading to find out what brought Ani and Ben to that point.

 

What I liked:

 

- The POV: While I did really want to know what was going through Ani’s head at times, I like that Fault Line is told from Ben’s POV. It’s not often that stories involving rape are told from the viewpoint of the person who hasn’t actually been raped. As hard as it is for the victim, I liked that we got to see how hard it was for Ben too.

 

- The ending: It was abrupt and normally, I hate abrupt endings. And I don’t know why but it just worked for me with this book. Sure, it was left unresolved, but there was going to have to be a lot more words written for me to feel some sort of resolution there and I liked that there was no bullshit ‘he-saved-her-in-the-end’ because you don’t ‘save’ a rape victim. You be understanding. And you be there for them in any way they need.

 

Christa Desir has written an amazing debut. A complete sucker punch of a book. I think her own personal experiences and work as a rape victim activist really shows here: you feel as if it was written by someone who really knew the topic they were writing about.

 

Fault Line is such an important book and I’m going to repeat myself here by saying that I think everyone should read it. Everyone.

On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

On the Jellicoe Road - Melina Marchetta

*Originally read in Oct 2009.
** Re-read in October 2014

***Re-read in October 2016

 

 

5 stars? More like eleventy bajillion squillion stars. I love this book so much. Sosososo much.

 

My review, originally posted here www.thetometravellers.wordpress.com

I’m just going to come out and say that I have absolutely no idea how to put into words the complete and total love I have for this book. I think I’m just going to start typing and I’ll hopefully produce something meaningful.

Firstly, I have to give a special shout-out to my dear friend Emily for bringing this book into my life. It was the second book of MM’s I read (in 2009) and the one that sold me on her so who knows if I would’ve ever read it, if not for her? Sometimes, when I’m a contemplative mood, I think about what my life would’ve been like had I not read it. Plodding along like I do, blissfully ignorant of this amazing book. So thank you, Emily.

Secondly, I’m going to be honest and admit that it took me months to read it, because of the confusing start, and if not for Emily nagging me, I would’ve taken longer. I distinctly remember the day I made the decision to just finish it once and for all, because I was sick of having it on my bedside table. I picked it up again after firmly telling myself not to bitch out this time and that night, after passing the half way mark where things start making more sense, I finished it. And then I sat on my bed, thought about it for a while, flicked through it again and started bawling my eyes out. And so my love affair with On The Jellicoe Road began.

Here’s some dot points on the things that I love about Jellicoe, because I can tell I’m going to start rambling soon if I don’t provide some sort of structure to this post:

- It has one of the – actually no; probably THE most intriguing introductions I’ve ever read. Not that I can say this for myself, as I’ve already confessed it took me a while to read it originally, but from the numerous re-reads since then, it reels me in like no other introduction ever has, despite already being familiar with the story.
- The plot: the intricacies of the two intertwining storylines, while initially confusing, is such a brilliant concept and it adds an air of mystery to the story, which I love.
- The inclusion of lyrics from one of my favourite songs: Flame Trees by Cold Chisel.
- The power of the feels: the way it makes my heart hurt, my eyes leak and my toes curl in a way few other books do.


So there you go. I did try, but no words will ever be enough to accurately describe my feelings about this book. It is just… *sighs*

My Tattoo

 

http://wp.me/p2PpVc-Ad

 

Just while I'm in the middle of a OTJR reread, I thought I would post about my tattoo. The lyrics are in OTJR, which is my favourite book of all time, just FYI - but that's not the reason why I got it. I never really do go into my reasoning behind getting it. Whenever anyone asks, I just say it's lyrics from one of my fave songs - which is the truth, but not the full reason why I got it as a tattoo. The link above is from when I posted about it on our blog, the one and only time I've ever talked about it in depth.